How reviews & electronic word-of-mouth can tell you the full story!
“User-generated online reviews have been continuously gaining credibility in the eyes of consumers, and today they are an essential component of the consumer decision-making process.” (Proserpio et al., 2016)
As a dental practice looking to win against competitors in your community and become the dentist of choice, managing your electronic word-of-mouth is critical. Not only because consumers look to reviews before making a purchasing decision and that reviews help your practice rank online, but because reviews provide valuable insights that can drive your decision-making.
Further to the growing data that proves reputation management and review generation is critical, analysis of almost 1000 dental office reviews provides clarity for connecting the dots between reviews and an enhanced patient experience. Developing an intentional culture inside your practice to make review generation a managed strategy makes sense for the practice that wants to deliver an exceptional experience for patients who choose your practice, return and refer, and increase production and profits.
Reviews and electronic referrals don’t only help your practice prove to the community you are a professional, trusted, and friendly practice, they also give necessary feedback about how you are performing, affirmed through the sentiments of your actual patient consumers. Through understanding consumer behavior and the relationship values that drive appointments, you can better position your brand and develop strategies that convert!
88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
As important – reviews tell you what’s working and what’s not at your practice.
This blog is written to provide you with industry research and facts revealing the values that are driving consumers to select, visit, and advocate for one dental practice over another.
Public data provided by review sources such as Google My Business were compiled for the analysis of almost 1000 reviews posted for dental practices.
So what are patient perceptions and the relationship factors that build new patients and retain active ones?
Relationship Value Drivers & Consumer Behavior
A study by McGuigan and Eisner, marketing the dental practice, 8 steps toward dental marketing success concluded that the elements that establish trust between the patient and the dental practice are critical, specifically:
- ability to customize solutions
Another relevant study by Sbaraini (2012) that focused on the effects of patient relationships states that patients value having a caring, professional dentist and staff, regardless of the severity of dental treatment.
“The most important health-service factor affecting patient satisfaction is the quality of the doctor-patient relationship.”
A Harvard Business Review article outlined the elements of value in a business-to-consumer (B2C) environment. The values are based off Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs, coming from 3 decades of consumer behavior analysis. The conclusion of the study is simple: The more values your practice can excel at, the more loyal your patients will be.
What elements of value does your dental practice provide?
As mentioned earlier, review sentiment is one way to understand the value your practice is providing. The study below analyzed almost 1000 reviews. There were consistencies across the board in the review sentiment. Reviews tell similar stories when it comes to patient-perceived value and it’s clear that patients are honing in on the dentist (25%), the staff (29%), and the overall experience.
What does this mean? Often we assume that patients are most interested in services and the medical technology your practice provides. Although these are important aspects of a successful practice, they are not what the data is proving most important when it comes to patients’ perception and drivers of value.
Sentiment On Staff Descriptions
Sentiment On Doctor Descriptions
Friendly, informational, kind, professional, and caring considerations/perceptions are all consistent and often brought up in review conversation. So what does all this mean?
The data, research, and facts make it clear that practice culture, the service, quality, friendliness, and relationships you have with your patients are top factors in the loyalty and retention of your patient base. You can have the best marketing in the world, but if your practice culture is not on point, there will be many lost opportunities. It will be important to tie your marketing to value drivers, to overcome negative perceptions in dentistry.
Reviews are critical to your marketing mix! They help you truly understand how patients are perceiving your practice and help convert prospects into patients. In the eyes of Google and your patients, Google reviews make your practice look like a trustworthy place to visit. You will always trust your friends or family as a referral source, however, the unbiased opinion of a patient goes a long way in the eyes of prospects.
“A typical business receives 59 actions from their Google My Business listing each month and 1260 views of their Google My Business review page!" (Source: Bright Local)
Digital Tourqe says, “56% of people will visit your website and a further 24% will actually call your business directly from the listing.”
This is no joke. Your review page may receive more visits than your web page some days. A dental practice IS a LOCAL business with, for the most part, strong competition. To stand out and receive calls from your Google My Business page, review generation is key to success. Especially now when the world is experiencing a pandemic.
We are living a new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is changing rapidly around us and we need to adapt. Picture this: a prospective patient is in the evaluation stage of finding a new practice, anxious and fearful of visiting the dentist. The prospect notices that your Google review page has patients commenting on the careful attention your practice is paying to protocols, clean air, and disinfectant processes. Quickly the prospective patient is relieved of their worries and books the appointment. This is powerful. Take initiative and make review generation a component of everyday business.
Does your practice make it easy for patients to leave you a review? Do they know where you’d like them to post a review? Does your team have a process and/or script to ask patients for reviews? Not only will this improve awareness of your campaign to patients, but it also improves patient satisfaction and loyalty when they know how much you value their opinion.
Ensure you are enabling a culture in your practice by coaching your team to promote positive patient perceptions through reviews. Friendly, personable, and professional atmospheres are what patients like to talk about.
Use a management system that sends out review requests automatically, post-appointment, with a dashboard that collects all your reviews so you can easily mange and respond. We call that service Review BOOSTER: and our dentists LOVE it!
Make reviews a company habit. It will help you understand the value your practice is projecting into your community while improving your reputation online and on the ground and increasing new patients. Don’t forget to include intentional management of your campaign by reading and responding to those reviews. Almost all people who read reviews look for the businesses’ responses to them. When you understand what patients are saying, the moment it is said, you can respond, react, and ACT and BOOST your reputation!
Our team is standing by to help you manage your online reputation, easily and effectively. Call today & ask for a FREE Demo of Review BOOSTER.